An education authority took two years to investigate claims that a 6-year-old girl had been sexually abused by classmates, it was alleged today.

The girl, who claimed that she was being stripped and abused on a daily basis by up to 23 tormentors between 6 and 10 years old, has since been moved to another school. No action has been taken against the other children involved.

Keith Towler, the children's commissioner for Wales, today described the delay as a "shocking failure" and said: "The bottom line is the family will never know what happened to their child."

The claims were made by the girl’s mother, who told BBC Wales that she found out that her daughter was being abused from the mother of another child who was also being bullied. She said: "I said. 'It's OK, you can tell mammy' and then it all started to come out. Her eyes were like marbles of fire.

"She was telling me things I think every mother dreads to hear from their daughter. It was horrendous what she'd gone through. Every day she was being stripped. She was being physically and sexually abused every day and every day she cried out for help and nobody ever came."

The mother said that the school was sympathetic but claimed that the bullies' ages and a lack of evidence meant that no action could be taken.

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